Marist’s Weishar gives it his all after death of older brother
By Eddie Burns For Sun-Times Media October 13, 2012 12:10AM
Updated: November 15, 2012 6:33AM
Maybe it was the familiar routine.
Maybe it was the support of his teammates.
Or just maybe it was knowing that’s what his brother would have wanted.
Whatever it was, Nic Weishar was a star for No. 1 Marist despite the RedHawks’ 34-24 East Suburban Catholic loss to Benet on Friday night at Benedictine University in Lisle.
Weishar’s oldest brother, Andrew, died Thursday after a two-year battle with colorectal cancer. Andrew Weishar, also a standout athlete, played football at Brother Rice and Illinois Wesleyan prior to the diagnosis.
“Nic and Andrew’s family are in our thoughts and prayers,” Marist coach Pat Dunne said while fighting back tears. “They are the strongest people I have ever known. The way Nic played tonight speaks to his character and the character of the family.”
A moment of silence was observed for the family before Friday’s game.
Weishar, a junior, had 13 catches for 128 yards.
Dunne said Weishar did not wish to speak to members of the media.
“We all knew they would be playing with a purpose and Nic is a great player,” Benet quarterback Jack Beneventi said. “We got a great effort from them and from Nic — it felt like he had 200 yards receiving.”
Benet (7-1, 4-1) took control from the start. The Redwings’ defense quickly forced a three-and-out. All eight of Marist’s first-half possessions began inside the RedHawks’ 30.
Benet enjoyed great field position as it started four first-half drives in Marist territory, which helped the Redwings to a 17-10 halftime lead.
“We knew coming in that field position would be something and they have a tremendous defense and it played a factor in the game,” Dunne said.
The game changed early in the second half when Benet fumbled the second-half kickoff. Marist recovered at the Benet 31. Two plays later, Benet senior Ryan Parks intercepted Marist quarterback Ian Woodworth’s pass and returned it to the Marist 32. On the next play, Beneventi found receiver senior Jack Euritt for a touchdown to put Benet up 24-10.
“Our defense has made plays all season long,” Beneventi said.
It didn’t help that Marist lost running back Peter Andreotti to an ankle injury during Marist’s final drive of the first half. Andreotti had 15 rushes for 57 yards and a touchdown before the injury.
“We’ll know more early in the week,” Dunne said about Andreotti’s injury.
Marist quarterback Ian Woodworth did his best to keep the RedHawks (7-1, 5-1) close. He completed 30-of-51 passes for 294 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. Woodworth connected with Flynn Nagle to cut the deficit to 34-24 with 35 seconds left, but Woodworth’s 2-point conversion pass to Wieshar was incomplete.